Six impossible things before breakfast.

A library science student's perspective on life, the universe, and everything.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


An entertaining video from Xtranormal

by: j.weinheimer

The video is a little long, but it's an amusing perspective on the user--librarian information gap and the importance of maintaining a user-centered mindset. It demonstrates the problem that's probably at the root of a lot of the issues people have with libraries today. Library users and librarians think about library materials, and how to organize, arrange, and describe them, very differently.

It is still important to keep track of the intrinsic "details" of a book--to some extent at least--which includes basic semi-invisible metadata like publisher, page count, ISBN number, etc. But we also have to keep track of the details that are meaningful to users, things such as table of contents, illustrations, and plot summaries. Making everyone happy may result in a lot of information to log into library catalogs and bookstore databases, but if everyone is able to find and use the information that they are looking for, wouldn't it be worth it? And with the capabilities and independence of automated processes increasing, it may not be that much work after all.

P.S. What is FRBR? FRBR stands for "Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records," and is an entity-relationship model developed by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions that defines a vocabulary rule set for library catalogers. Under FRBR, an item is an exemplar of a manifestation which is an embodiment of an expression which is a realization of a work. They even have a blog.

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